as a pakistani american

How A Medically Induced Coma Led To Love, Marriage And ‘The Big Sick’

It sounds like something dreamed up by a team of romantic comedy writers: A Pakistani-American comic falls in love with an American graduate student, but because of cultural pressures from his family, he is forced to keep his relationship a secret. It’s only when she becomes mysteriously ill and is put into a medically induced coma that he decides to tell his family about the woman he loves.

That’s the plot of the new film The Big Sick, but it’s also how the film’s co-writers, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon met and fell in love in real life.

Nanjiani, who plays himself in the film, says the days Gordon spent in a coma were pivotal to their relationship. “This sounds like a movie moment, but it really, really isn’t. I remember seeing her laying there in the coma for the first time and I remember having the thought, If she comes out of this, I’m going to marry her.”

Gordon did come out of the coma, and she and Nanjiani married three months later. Though their story ended happily, Gordon (played in the film by Zoe Kazan) says both she and Nanjiani were careful about “not writing anything that felt disrespectful or off-base or off-color” for the screen adaptation of their story.

“Because we had been through it … we knew the emotional truth of what happened,” she says. “And we knew that we didn’t want to disrespect what actually happened and the seriousness of being in a medically induced coma.”

I feel like the key White Pathology that explains Trump is this idea that everything in life is graded on a curve, not just wanting to have good things, but to have MORE of those things than other people. A pathology that’s both the opposite of stronger together and the opposite of the Lake Wobegon Effect.   A hypothetical Trump voter (especially the white woman voter who unexpectedly swung Trump) wants her child to go the BEST school.   She doesn’t want the schools in Detroit to improve because then her child’s school will be less dramatically BEST.  Or the Trump voter who is making a fine amount of money, owns his own business, own his own home, but feels that the success of the Pakistani-American engineer who lives down the street lessens his own success in some way.  It might even be more satisfying to see things get worse overall, as long as they get More Worse for other people.

I’m not saying I know how to combat it, but I guess it starts with naming it.

A few videos to teach different Sign Languages Alphabets and Vocabulary (I tried to find videos that had either subtitles, voice over or both. Some have them and other’s do not. If you find a video or sign language I haven’t posted yet feel free to add to the list. Thanks.)

American Sign Language




Mexican Sign Language


Indo-Pakistani Sign Language



British Sign Language


German Sign Language


Irish Sign Language



Chinese Sign Language


Taiwanese Sign Language


Australian Sign Language



Late update

New Zealand Sign Language


I’m really bitter that Slav doesn’t have an aesthetically pleasing design because he’s clearly meant to be South Asian coded (and he’s voiced by Pakistani-American actor Iqbal Theba). And on top of that, he’s clearly treated as a joke both in the show and by fandom at large. Slav is meant to be one of the most brilliant minds in the universe, and he was held in a high security Galra prison so that the Galra could extract his knowledge. He build gravity-bending technology. He probably suffers from PTSD. He could have been all this while also being South Asian coded.

And yet Voltron made the choice to give him a frankly ridiculous design and treat him as this quirky joke of an alien as opposed to a character with legitimate depth. That fact is honestly so disappointing because South Asians are always looking for representation in media, and especially children’s cartoons since we don’t get enough as is. We deserved better.

“So what are you?”

The question which plagued my childhood in suburban Kansas; the ponderance of which led me towards years of agonizing identity searching; the answer to which I still hesitate to deliver.

“So what are you?”

It is an innocent question; one I know I am not alone in hearing the echoes of. But what do I say? “I’m mixed” is the short answer, but it always leads to the question of “With what” so do I say “My mom is white and my dad is brown” but brown isn’t usually specific enough so do I say “my mom is white and my dad’s Pakistani” but that doesn’t flow right because white is a race and Pakistani is a nationality so do I say “my mom’s American and my dad’s Pakistani” but that isn’t true because my dad was born in Canada and he’s lived here his whole life and American sure as hell doesn’t mean white I mean my dad IS American so do I say “My mom’s a white American and my Dad’s Pakistani American” but that just sounds like I’m trying too hard so that’s out of the question and so do I just drop it and leave it at “none of your business” but that’s rude and it’s really such a simple question so what in the hell do I freaking say?

“So what are you?”

It’s a good question, really… why don’t you tell me? I am the alienation that I feel when my mom’s family talks about how dangerous those Muslim immigrants are over dinner and I am the strange sinking feeling in my stomach which occurs when my cousins tell me that whatever I’ve just done is haraam. I am the frustration which clouds me when people around me doubt that I am what the hell I say I am. I am the product of the millisecond long stares of confusion people give me when I tell them the pale as china blonde lady I’m with is my mother and the looks of disgust I get when I, the young, doll eyed light skinned girl, go out to dinner late at night with a big burly middle aged brown man, aka my father. I am the three and a half years it took me to decide what to call the pigmentation of my skin.

I am the sadness which clouds me when one of my Aunties asserts how lucky I am to be so fair skinned. I am the anger I feel each and every time I think about the people who called my full and plump Desi lips fat as a kid and now use copious amounts of lip liner to accentuate their tiny mouths on Snapchat. I am the hours of hoping and praying during and after shootings that it wasn’t a Muslim. I am the incredible lengths I go to, the precise and complex knowledge I feel I must have of my roots in order to truly claim my heritage. I am neither and I am both and I hate it.

“So what are you?”

I can’t stand here and tell you that it is all bad. That would be I lie, for I am also the cool, smooth feeling of the bronze crucifix which sits on one side of my bedroom wall and the sentiment of the words “Allah most merciful” written in beautiful Arabic script on the other. I am my large French hazel eyes and my thick and wavy South Asian hair, my favorite of my features.

I am the pride I feel as I trace my thumb over the intricate embroidery on one of my anarkalis and the anticipation I feel for Christmas as I help line my grandmother’s fireplace with garland. I am the rhythmic clanking of my bangles as I dance to bhangra music at a cousin’s wedding and the clicking of tongues by a sizzling grill as my grandpa flips our burgers during a Sunday night barbeque. I am the flavorful and savory taste of pulao my father makes and the creamy texture of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. I am the Maybelline mascara I coat my eyelashes with and the kajal I used to line the edges of my eyes. I am the flavorant meeting of two cultures melting in an incredible country in which such a thing is even possible.

“So what are you?”

God, but what am I thinking? I’m Jackie. I am the impending messiness that is my bedroom. I am my inability to fall the hell asleep before eleven o’clock at night. I am my love for all things fashion and glamour. I am my obnoxiously large collection of makeup. I am my hideous shedding of tears each and every time Spock dies in the Wrath of Khan.

I am my intense love for horror movies and my struggle to move in the dark for two days after watching them. I am my passion for music and Michael J. Fox and Kanye West and my unrequited love for Zayn Malik. I am my collection of records and of 32 scarves which I never wear, my brown riding boots, my belting of Christmas carols in the middle of July, my irrational hatred of algebra, my inability to sleep without my phone being on its charger, the Toll House cookie dough I eat straight from the bag and the four Beatles posters I have hanging in my room.

I am the scent of Aussie conditioner and my clumsy, spacy nature; my obsession with the Kennedys, my adamant love for Diet Dr Pepper, losing myself in my daydreams, my extreme extroversion and procrastination of literally everything, my weakness for Reese’s peanut butter cups, my A to Z knowledge about Mick Jagger, my ever changing mind. I am my dreams and I am my fears and and I am my tenacity and I am my mistakes and my courage and my insecurities and my abilities and my hope … I am so much and yet I am so little. I am me. I am unapologetically and beautifully me.

“So what are you?”

I am Jacqueline Renee and I am what I am and no answer that I give you to this question will make what I am any different.

Aisha Saeed’s debut is one of the most important books I’ve read. It’s a poignant #ownvoice novel about forced marriage and a Pakistani American girl’s fight to stand up for herself, her wants, dreams and desires. Filled with culture, thrive and determination, Written in the Stars is a compelling, often heartbreaking read, and one you should not miss!

Muslim Character Questions Round-Up!

Here is a helpful list of all of our posts about Muslim characters (up to date as of April 14, 2015). 

A list of 250+ POC face claims in varying ages. 

These are almost all off the top of Lia’s head, or from our roleplay’s potential fc list, so this is by no means thorough. We will be updating this as we go, and publishing various FC lists in the future. This is just a severe head shake at those who claim it’s harder to think of POC FCs (only those that use it as an excuse). Representation isn’t hard.

Keep reading
Gigi Hadid accused of racism after Asian eyes video
A viral video shows the 21-year-old at a restaurant with friends. Gigi holds up a cookie that is shaped like the Buddha and squints her eyes in an imitation of his face.

‘So you know this is racist right?’ Gigi Hadid comes under fire on Instagram after her sister Bella posted a candid clip of the model squinting her eyes to imitate the Buddha

  • A video posted by Bella Hadid shows her 21-year-old sister at a restaurant with friends, who are singing Happy Birthday to someone
  • Gigi holds up a cookie that is shaped like the Buddha and squints her eyes in an imitation of his face
  • Twitter users have called the video racist, and pointed out that they are 'not surprised’ and this isn’t the first time she has faced accusations of racism
  • People have called her out for modeling Afros and dreadlocks in the past

Supermodel Gigi Hadid is facing online backlash after a video surfaced showing her squinting her eyes to imitate an East Asian person.

In a clip posted by Bella Hadid and later deleted — but not before the video had spread and been shared by other accounts — Gigi is seen smiling and making the offensive facial expression while out with friends.

In the hours since it has been shared, other social media users have chimed in to criticize Gigi, with some claiming she has exhibited 'racist’ behavior before.

The very short clips features Gigi and friends at a restaurant, where several are singing Happy Birthday.

Gigi holds up a cookie in the shape of the Buddah, then smiles and squints her eyes to imitate his face.

'This is y'all woke palestine queen? Gigi out here mocking Asian people. i would say she’s cancelled but she never started [sic],’ wrote one poster.

Other people shared similar comments, with one saying: 'smh she’s been cancelled. She’s made fun of Asian people, and done so many racist things but nobody pays attention.’

'Why am i not shocked about gigi hadid being racist again,’ wrote another, while yet another said: 'ppl are so blind to anti asian racism as someone thats had to deal w ppl making fun of my eyes for 16 yrs i hope gigi hadid falls in a hole [sic].’

Several pointed out that Gigi’s boyfriend, Zayn Malik, is of Asian descent, his father being British Pakistani. However, Gigi’s father — Palestinian-American developed Mohammad Hadid — is also Middle Eastern.

However, as some have said, it doesn’t matter if the intention to be racist isn’t there — the ignorance that something is racist can alone be part of a racist act.

The claims of past 'racist’ behavior seem to be referring to the time Gigi was accused of cultural appropriation while modeling.

In 2016, she wore colorful dreadlocks to walk in Marc Jacobs’ runway show — a choice that was not hers, but the designers. She also once modeled a blue Afro on the cover of Vogue Italia.

In 2015, Instagram followers were also quick to attack her for showing off henna tattoos on her hands, to which she had a speedy response:

'Before you go all “cultural appropriation” in my comments, check out the last name. Hadid. Half Palestinian & proud of it,’ she wrote.

Ninja Country Heritage

Based on their names, here-

Kai and Nya - Mexican-Japanese. The pure amount of fan art showing them as latino and their Japanese-sounding names and appearance are a start. Next, their parents-Ray and Maya. Maya can be used as a Spanish name (although it has other meanings that go well with her character), so she would most likely have Mexican Heritage. Ray will have Japanese because Maya’s already taken Mexico. But you may ask, why Mexico and not Spain, or Brazil? Well in the film, Micheal Peña voices Kai, who has Mexican immigrant heritage. He even says “F-F-FUEGO!” in the film, Spanish for Fire, which confirms that Kai has Spanish-speaking heritage.

Cole - Canadian. His name sounds American, but America is boring so I chose where Ninjago is made-Canada. But the best part about him is that I like to think he was born to a white father and a black mother, a wonderful pairing (I hope this keeps for S8!). Anyway, his father’s name is Lou, which has French origins, as does Canada, providing a little more evidence.

Jay - Scottish-American (Scottish-Pakistani in the film). Jay has many origins, but my favorite is America’s-swift, which is a lot like him. Now I say Scottish because of his red hair and freckles he never knew he had, and his birth surname Gorden, which has Scottish origins. Even his adopted surname Walker has Scottish origins! BA-BA-BAM! Anyway, his actor for the movie is Kumail Nanjiani, a Pakistani-American actor (God Bless Pakistan). Therefore, I decided to make him Scottish-Pakistani in the film.

Zane - French-Hebrew. Zane is a Hebrew name meaning “Gift from God” (he honestly is). I say French because his last name, Julien, is a French spelling for Julian, a Roman name. He also wouldn’t be too bad at looking French.

Lloyd - Japanese-Welsh. We know that his mother has Japanese heritage and his father does too, most likely (although from what his name means, it’s more likely Norse-Hebrew). Lloyd is a Welsh name for ‘gray’, and his middle name, Montgomery, also has Welsh origins. Lloyd has blonde hair, which isn’t a common natural thing in Japan as far as I’m concerned, and that would fit with his Welsh heritage. Misako would have a Japanese parent and a Welsh parent, making him only ¼ Welsh.

Please like if you want more heritage ninjas!

anonymous asked:

Do you have any images of the henna designs used and how they vary across different ethnic groups? I'm familiar with henna and my Indian neighbour taught me her traditions around it and applied some designs to me when I was a curious child and she was getting ready for a wedding, but I would assume designs very considerably between cultures as well as the context in which they are used. Would you be able to direct me to info on this? Thanks :)

You’re absolutely right — henna designs vary considerably from region to region… I often post pictures about it if you look through my henna tag. Here are some examples of different styles:

This is the style traditionally done in much of Morocco, known today simply as “bildi” (’rustic’ or ‘old-fashioned’)… Commonly associated with the “Imperial Cities” of Fes, Meknes, and Marrakech, it shares many similarities with the traditional embroidery (terz) of that region — note the division of space into diamonds and triangles, the use of parallel lines, and the toothed edging. Photo taken by me in Fes, 2014:

This is another style seen in Morocco, in the southern regions and Sahara. This “Sahrawi” style shares some elements with the henna of central and northern Morocco, but is similar in layout to the henna done in Mauritania. Photo from Flickr:

The henna of Mauritania is breathtakingly unique and immediately recognizable. In my opinion the henna artists of Mauritania are among the most talented and technically accomplished in the world; designs were traditionally done in reverse with a tape resist, and today they are also drawn (there’s actually a whole book about it!). Photo from Flickr:

And West Africa has its own style as well, commonly seen in Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and other places in the region — done in reverse with tape, like in Mauritania, but with longer lines and different layouts. Photo by Casey McMenemy, from my article on henna in West Africa:

There is also a unique and recognizable style in East Africa, on the Swahili Coast (Kenya, Tanzania, etc.). Unfortunately today they often use the dangerous “black henna” chemical dye, but as you can see it can be easily replicated with natural henna (from this article on henna on the Swahili Coast):

The countries of the Arabian Peninsula have their own set of styles too, known as khaleeji (“Gulf”), which are today immensely popular around the world (even in places like Morocco and India which have their own longstanding traditions of henna design). In the Khaleej itself there are many henna salons with local and international artists, and so the designs are constantly evolving; the constant, for me, is the open layout and the contrast between thick and thin. Here’s an example of some contemporary khaleeji-style work (from Instagram):

Of course, Persia was once the heartland of henna, and in the Safavid period we have many depictions of beautiful, elaborate henna patterns in illustrated manuscripts. While the tradition died out during the Qajar period under the influence of Western fashion, it is clear that there was once a “Persian style” of henna, which some artists have attempted to continue or revive. This is a (very zoomed-in) detail from Mir Sayyid Ali’s 1540 masterpiece “A Nomadic Encampment” (and for more on Persian henna, see this article):

And while India came rather late to the henna-pattern game, developing traditions of henna art only in the 18th-19th century, by the 20th century South Asia had become one of the centres of henna art worldwide, and the henna styles from the region are probably the most common and recognizable today. That’s not to say that they were always what we think of today as “Indian-style” henna — here’s an example of Rajasthani designs from the 1950s recorded by Jogendra Saksena, which are quite different than the style of henna common in India today:

Not to mention the fact that within the Indian subcontinent, there are (or have been, historically) distinct regional styles: Pakistani, Marwari, Rajasthani, and more… And of course, henna designs are constantly changing! What was popular and stylish twenty years ago is not the same as what was popular ten years ago, or what is popular now. Especially with the interconnectedness of the internet, artists around the world are able to learn from each other, spread innovations, and merge styles in new and exciting ways.

Compare this old-fashioned, recognizably Pakistani-style design (from Flickr):

To the contemporary work of Pakistani-American artist (and dear friend of mine) Sabreena Haque, who combines motifs and layouts from Indian, Pakistani, Gulf, and Moroccan patterns, along with inspiration from many other areas of art and nature (from her Instagram):

And there’s so much more to explore! There seems to be a unique style of henna patterns in the Balkans, similar to their tattooing and embroidery. What were henna designs like in medieval Spain? Yemenite Jews had their own unique patterns and techniques as well, which still need more research. And there’s more to say about the evolution of henna designs in Morocco too!

I could go on and on, but perhaps that’s enough for now. Let me know if I can answer any other questions!

My mom was making me watch Pakistani dramas with her and one of them was about these American born and raised boys who were visiting Pakistan and a lot of the jokes were predictibly about their incompetence in another country except. The actors were very clearly Not American bc they had accents when they were talking in english, and also to depict True American Boys™ they kept starting every sentence with “bro” and i

I’m angry because I’m not Muslim enough and no matter what I do, I’m never Norwegian enough. And I’m not Moroccan enough.

ok but can we talk about how important that line was from today’s skam clip??? as a muslim living in a non-muslim country this is a daily struggle, and one without any solutions. i don’t feel american enough because of my muslim and pakistani identity; i don’t feel pakistani/muslim enough bc of my american identity. it’s hard to fit a niche and relate to one particular culture. And yeah it can be super frustrating sometimes and that’s why this season is SO important. for the first time us people in this ~ cultural limbo ~ are getting some sort of representation??? 

Meet the New Mr. Right

Seeing a Pakistani-American comic secure the romantic lead in a Hollywood film would be a rare delight under any circumstances. But what makes “The Big Sick” all the more remarkable is how little fuss is made of it. In the film, we see Kumail and his family eating and laughing and goofing off, fighting and (after a spell) making up, just like the actor’s real family. It’s a vision of a Muslim family, Mr. Nanjiani notes, rarely seen in American film. (x)